50th Anniversary of the 1969 Mets: Mets Reach .500 Mark

50th Anniversary of the 1969 World Champion "Amazing Mets"

Wednesday May 21st, 1969: A modest crowd of 14,669 attended Atlanta's Fulton County Stadium, to see a marquee match up of two future Hall of Famers, the Braves Phil Niekro (6-2) & the Mets Tom Seaver (5-2).

Not many people were thinking these were to be the two teams that would matchup in the first ever NLCS later that October, but it would be the case. 

The Braves managed by their former Hall of Fame slugger, Eddie Mathews, fielded two other Hall of Fame players that day, besides Niekro- Hank Aaron & Orlando Cepeda.

Starting Lineups

Tonight's game was a classic Tom Seaver gem, a complete game three hit shut out, although he struck out just two, while walking a pair as well. 

The only time Seaver had more than one base runner on was in the 8th inning. With two outs he issued a walk & a then a single to future Met, All Star Felix Millan. He then got Sonny Jackson to line out to end the inning. Seaver went to 6-2 on the year.

Trivia: One of three Atlanta players to get a hit on the night, was Mike Lum. Lum was the first player of Japanese ancestry to play in the major leagues. He would platoon & switch positions at first base as well as the outfield with Hank Aaron in his time with Atlanta. He went 2-3 in the NLCS against Mets pitching.

The Mets started in the 1st inning as both Tommie Agee & Ken Boswell both doubled. Agee was unable to score but both runners would come home on Cleon Jones single to left field. Jones was batting .391 at this point in the season. Jones, Agee & Boswell would all have two hit each on the night. It was 2-0 Mets.

As mentioned before, Seaver rolled along. Allowing just a walk to Hank Aaron in the 1st, then a single in the 4th, before setting down the Braves in order for three straight innings.

In the top of the 8th, Jones singled again & stole second. He advanced to third when Art Shamsky struck out. Eddie Kranepool walked & then also stole second. Mets catcher J.C. Martin walked to load the bases. 

Bud Harrelson then tripled to centerfield, clearing the bases & scoring all three runners to 5-0 Mets win.

Amazing Trivia: Harrelson would come in second on the club to Ken Boswell with six triples on the year. He would drive in just 21 more runs in 1969 for a total of 24 RBIs.

The win got the Mets over the .500 mark (18-18) for the first time in the 1969 season since the second game of the season. At this point they were 5 1/2 games out of first place.


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